28 Nov 2022



Used Software

Used software opens up new opportunities

The prospective development of IT functionality is  one of the main objectives for IT or SAM managers  and is increasingly becoming the focus of daily activities, in companies. High availability and efficient maintenance have long been taken for granted. In the functional integration of a multitude of software topics and solutions, so many aspects now intertwine that cost optimisation is becoming a challenge  which is as important as it is complex.

In order to gain leeway for , future projects, it is therefore crucial to design spending structures as efficiently as possible. Whether by switching to cloud or rental offerings such as Microsoft 365 or in the context of restructuring measures, re-organisation, company mergers or closures as well as possible insolvencies. There are a number of reasons why software licences once purchased are no longer used. In this blog article, you can read how to monetise these idle assets and how this can involve financial volumes in the six-figure range, even for medium-sized companies.

The fourth quarter is ideal for the inventory audit of software licences

Almost every budget manager knows the situation. Savings achieved in one year lead to lower budgeting in the next. It is no different in the IT sector. That is why SA managers should use the fourth quarter to review the current licence stock. Only then is it possible to make clever use of existing budget funds.  Software licences that are not needed or are far too expensive ultimately mean that money is being wasted. When looking at a company's licence inventory, there are a number of questions that can lead to noticeable optimisations:

  • Do we have all the licences we need for the different areas of work?

  • Are there licences in the portfolio for which external support has expired, for example MS Office 2007 and 2010, Exchange or Visio?

  • Are there licences in the portfolio for which external support will expire in the next 12 months, for example MS Office 2013, Exchange Server 2013 or Windows Server 2012/2012 R2? 

  • Would our licence stock pass a manufacturer audit?

  • Is there over-licensing that we should sell?

  • Could we replace upcoming new acquisitions with the purchase of used software licences?

PREO tip: Implement used software licences as part of the IT strategy

If the check reveals under-licensing, it is usually worthwhile to invest the available budget in used software licences. This is because these are up to 70 % cheaper than new software with the same functionality, since software, unlike most consumer goods, does not age. In addition, the purchase of used software does not incur any ongoing monthly costs for the use of the software, so that you will still save money in the years to come.

Selling surplus software licences - this is how you expand your budget

Cancelling planned new acquisitions is one way to optimise the IT budget. Another: Turn those already made in the past back into money. This applies not only to hardware such as laptops or printers, but also to operating systems and application software such as Microsoft Windows or MS Office, as well as licences for SQL, Exchange or Sharepoint servers. It is important that you pay attention to these four requirements:

  1. The licences that are no longer needed were first placed on the market in the EU or the EEA. In the EU, the so-called principle of exhaustion applies to used software licences. This means that goods that have been placed on the market in the EU or EEA with the consent of the right holder can then be freely traded in this region. The manufacturer's distribution right has been "exhausted" after the first sale and the resale of the software licences is legal.

  2. Only purchased software licences can be transferred. Software from current leasing or rental contracts cannot be resold.

  3. Software licences from volume contracts can also be sold in part. Licences from a volume contract each have an independent right of use, which can also be transferred in this way. You can therefore keep part of the software licences from the volume contract, and sell another part. The only exception is in the area of client-server installations.
  4. Especially important: Uninstall software before selling it. Since software licences for sale must not be used by the buyer, the software must be un-installed from the respective computers before the sale. In addition, there is a binding declaration with documentation that the software licences will no longer be used.

PREO conclusion: Unused software licences are a worthwhile option to expand the existing IT budget. As a pioneer in the European trade with used software licences, we are happy to be there for you as an experienced seller or purchasing partner. Our licence experts will be happy to advise you personally on the topics of cost optimisation, security and transparency in the trade with used software licences.

Atruvia generates high revenue by selling unused software licences

With the merger from Fiducia and GAD In 2015, two large and partly different contract volumes of Microsoft licences in the Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network had to be successively merged into one joint contract. The decisive merger and thus unification of the software assets took place with the conversion from purchase to rental licences in the course of the introduction of the Microsoft online service M365. The software licences that were no longer needed as a result represented considerable sales potential. In this customer case, you can find out how Atruvia was able to transfer over 150,000 Microsoft licences to PREO at the beginning of 2020 for a seven-figure sum, after months of research and the creation of complex contract and usage histories with intensive licence consulting and project support.

Atruvia is the digitalisation partner of the Genossenschaftliche Finanzgruppe (cooperative financial group) with around 8,400 employees* across the group and is responsible for the IT of almost 900 Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, including 86 million customer accounts, as well as IT services for private banks and companies such as ADAC.

Peace of mind when buying used software licences

PREO's used software licences are up to 70 percent cheaper than comparable new software and 100 percent audit-proof. To this end, PREO's licence experts, together with the legal department specialising in licensing law, put all software licences through their paces in advance.

As a PREO customer, you receive detailed and complete evidence of the rights chain. This allows you to transparently track at any time

  • from which type of contract the software originates, 

  • which contract numbers are assigned,

  • who the previous owners were and

  • whether they have properly un-installed the software.

Added to this are all the details of the update history. And if that's not enough security for you: Our transfers are insured up to an amount of 10 million euros by a comprehensive pecuniary loss liability insurance, just in case. In medium-sized and large companies, more and more IT managers are therefore utilising used software from PREO to manage their budgets as efficiently and securely as possible to gainfinancial leverage  for new projects.

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